Dr. Hua-Hua Chang is a practitioner turned professor (Google CitationSelected Publications). Before moving to academia in 2001, he had worked in the testing industry for nine years, of which six years at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ and three years at the National Board of Medical Examiners in Philadelphia, PA. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Psychological Measurement, past President of the Psychometric Society (2012-2013), and a Fellow of American Educational Research Association. At UIUC, Dr. Chang has been included on the "List of Teachers Ranked Excellent by Their Students" annually since 2008. He is also the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award of College of Education. Most recently, he has been awarded the Changing Scholar Chair Professor (长江讲座教授)by the Ministry of Education of P. R. China. Currently, Dr. Chang serves as the director of the Confucius Institute of UIUC.

Dr. Jinming Zhang is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 1996 to 2009, he was employed at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) as a senior research scientist in the Division of Research and Development. He had worked on various research and operational projects related to large-scale educational assessments, specifically, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). He successfully directed and co-directed statistical and psychometric analyses of many large-scale assessment projects, such as the 1996 and 2005 national science, 2000 state science, 1998, 2002 and 2003 national and state reading, 2006 national civics, and 2008 national arts assessments. Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on theoretical and applied statistics issues involved in educational assessments, with specific interests including multidimensional item response theory, dimensionality assessment techniques, large-scale assessments, generalizability theory, and test security. Dr. Zhang serves as the Co-PI at the Confucius Center.

Dr. Jian Zhang, Deputy Director ›

Jian (Jack) Zhang is an associate professor of Jiangxi Normal University (China) and the deputy director of the Confucius Institute at UIUC. As a professor of English language and literature, he has taught both undergraduates and graduate students majoring in English for 28 years in China. Before coming to the United States, he was a professor and associate dean of the School of Intercultural Studies at JXNU. In December 2013, he began to work as the deputy director of the Confucius Institute at UIUC. Prof. Zhang is the Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute.

Research Team

Justin Kern is currently a senior Ph.D. student in the Quantitative Psychology program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He has two master’s degrees from UIUC—an M.S. in Statistics, and an M.A. in Psychology—and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Psychology from Central Michigan University. Justin’s research interests are varied, including response time in measurement, computerized adaptive testing, item response theory, ideal point modeling, multivariate data analysis, and structural equation modeling.

Edison Choe is a fifth year doctoral student in Quantitative Psychology at UIUC and the current managing editor of Applied Psychological Measurement. He received both his M.S. in Statistics and B.A. in Psychology at the University of Virginia. Edison’s research interests include (but are not limited to) utilizing response time in CAT, cognitive diagnosis, test assembly, test security, IRT and ideal point modeling, power analysis, effect size estimation, and quantum probability theory.

Susu Zhang is a third year Ph.D. student in the Quantitative Psychology program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Originally from Beijing, China, she came to the United States for undergraduate education, and in May of 2014, she received her B.A. in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College and B.A. in Mathematics from Haverford College. Susu’s research interest primarily lies in measurement and testing in psychology and education, including item response theory, computerized adaptive testing, bifactor analysis, and ideal-point modeling.

Alvaro is a second year Quantitative Psychology PhD student. His research Interests include Item Response Theory, Computerized Adaptive Testing, Bayesian Methods, IRT applications in non-education settings. He received his BS in Mathematics, University of Illinois at Chicago (2013) and B.A. in Applied Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago (2013). 

Xiao Li ›

Xiao Li is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. She received her B.S. in applied mathematics from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. And she is also a research assistant for the Confucius Institute. Her interests include IRT models, computerized adaptive testing, response time, cognitive diagnosis modeling and structural equation modeling. Her future research goal is to apply statistical methods to educational and psychological measurement.

Liwen Huang ›

Liwen Huang is a first year PhD student in Education Psychology. She received her MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from the Department of Linguistics at UIUC, and BA in Linguistics from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China. Her current research interest include G theory, Writing  Evaluation, Rater Performance, IRT modeling, and CAT. 

Anqi Li ›

Anqi Li is a first-year PhD student in the Quantitative Psychology program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received my B.S. in Mathematics from Beijing Normal University and M.S. in Statistics from UIUC. Her research interest primarily lies in educational and psychological measurement, including item response theory and computerized adaptive testing. 

Leanne Zeng ›

Leanne Zeng is a first year PhD student at the Department of Educational Psychology (QURIES) working under supervision of Dr. Hua-Hua Chang. Prior to enrolling at UIUC, she worked as a research assistant in the Department of Psychology at her Alma Mater the University of British Columbia in Canada after she graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. Leanne is still exploring her research interests but she found herself interested in cognitive diagnosis and computerized adaptive testing. 

Wenyi Wang, PhD ›

Dr. Wenyi Wang is Associate Professor, College of Computer Information Engineering, Jiangxi Normal University (China). He received both his Ph.D. in Educational Measurement and M.S. in Computer Science from Jiangxi Normal University in 2012 and 2009, and his B. A. in Applied Mathematics from Changsha University of Science & Technology in 2006. Wenyi’s primary research and practice interests include item response theory, cognitive diagnostic assessment, computerized adaptive testing, and web application development. Dr. Wang is conducting research at UIUC as a visiting scholar.

Chen Tian ›

Chen Tian is a first year Master's student at the Department of Educational Psychology (QUERIES). She received her B.S. degree in Psychology from Sun Yat-Sen University in China. Chen is interested in measurement and evaluation in general and is currently exploring specific research interests.

Lei Guo, PhD ›

Lei Guo is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Southwest University (China). He obtained his Ph.D. degree in psychological measurement at Beijing Normal University in 2014, and M.S. degree in psychological and educational assessment at Jiangxi Normal University in 2011. His primary research interests include composed of differential item functioning, item response theory, cognitive diagnostic theory, computerized adaptive testing and quantitative analysis. Dr. Guo is currently a visiting scholar at UIUC.


Dr. Shiyu Wang, one of the CI-UIUC’s alumni, is currently an assistant professor (tenure track) at University of Georgia. Dr. Wang worked at the CI for two years before she received her PhD in Statistics. As the research leader at CI-UIUC, Dr. Wang accomplished several important research projects on the development of computerized adaptive testing for HSK with the CI research team. This includes Computerized Automatic Test Assembly for HSK Level 1-6 and Computerized Adaptive Testing for HSK Level 4.  Those research projects have laid the foundation for the current research on HSK. Dr. Wang was also invited to attend the Global Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing in winter, 2014. At this conference, Dr. Wang’s demonstrated CI’s research projects on HSK, which was well received by the audience and Hanban.

Dr. Wang’s two-year work experience at the CI-UIUC has great influence on her PhD research training and current job, reflected by Dr. Wang. “The HSK research projects provided me opportunities to turn theories into practice. During the research process, I realized that many theories that I learned in class needed to be adapted before being applied since every project is context-specific. We had to come up with new methods along the way, such as new item selection criteria. In addition, many of the problems that I encountered during the research process were turned into research questions later,” said Dr. Wang. “This process was challenging but rewarding since I learned a lot about how to conduct research in real-life settings.” When talking about the influence of her CI experience on her job, Dr. Wang mentioned that she was going to teach a class on Computerized Adaptive Testing next semester at University of Georgia. “I don’t think I would be able to teach this class if I didn’t work on HSK research projects at CI-UIUC. I would not be where I am without those research experience,” concluded by Dr. Wang at the end of this interview.                                              

Dr. Yi Zheng, Assistant Professor (tenure track) at Arizona State University

Dr. Chanjin Zheng, Distinguished Professor at Jiangxi Normal University (China)

Dr. Pao Hua Tay, Deputy Director of Assessment at Singapore Ministry of Education

Dr. Shuai Wang, Stanford Research Institute as a scientist  

Dr. Hyeon-Ah Kang, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University